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Uber gets into bikeshare business with deal to buy JUMP

Dara Kowsrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies, says the company has reached a deal to acquire JUMP, which operates dockless bikesharing services. CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Anindito Mukherjee.
Dara Kowsrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies, says the company has reached a deal to acquire JUMP, which operates dockless bikesharing services. CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Anindito Mukherjee.

Ride-hailing giant Uber is buying the e-bike startup JUMP Bikes, adding bikeshare to its transportation options.

In a blog post Monday morning, Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the company had reached a deal to acquire JUMP, which operates dockless bikesharing services in the District of Columbia and San Francisco.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but TechCrunch reported last week that the sale could exceed $100 million.

“We’re committed to bringing together multiple modes of transportation within the Uber app-so that you can choose the fastest or most affordable way to get where you’re going, whether that’s in an Uber, on a bike, on the subway, or more,” Khosrowshahi said.

The deal comes a few months after Uber launched a pilot program to integrate JUMP services into the Uber app in San Francisco. The pilot, which allows Uber riders to find and reserve the bikes through the Uber app is “off to a very strong start,” Khosrowshahi said.

Uber’s move to acquire JUMP signals the company’s willingness to continue to expand its reach, beyond its core ride-hailing services. Uber has been working to partner with fixed transit systems and pursuing autonomous vehicle ventures, food delivery services and now bikesharing.

Both Uber and JUMP say the goal is offer multiple modes of transportation within the Uber app, to give users options to fast and affordable transportation, and make it easier to live without owning a car.

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“We’re excited to begin our next chapter and to play a significant part in the transition of Uber to a multi-modal platform,” JUMP Bikes founder and chief executive Ryan Rzepecki said in blog post Monday morning. “Joining Uber presents us with the opportunity to realize our dreams faster and at a much larger scale.”

The JUMP brand will continue as part of the Uber family, Rzepecki said.

The neon red bikes available for rent in the nation’s capital and the Bay area, are part of a growing market for dockless bikesharing. Dockless bikeshare companies are expanding across the U.S., giving riders the freedom to locate GPS-tracked bikes through apps, unlock them and ride them from any location where the last user left them.

In Washington, JUMP is one of five dockless bike operators. It has deployed about 200 bicycles in the city and has become one of the most popular bike services, with each bike averaging 3.5 trips daily and 11 miles per day, according to a company spokeswoman.

The bikes feature an electric motor in the front wheel and a battery concealed in the frame. Unlike other dockless systems, which can be left wherever there’s sidewalk space, JUMP bikes must be locked to a bike rack with an integrated U-lock that’s held magnetically to the frame. It costs $2 for 30 minutes of ride time.

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